Date of Award

May 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Urban Studies

First Advisor

Amanda I Seligman

Committee Members

Ryan Holifield, Anne Bonds


Feminist spaces, Gender inequality, Milwaukee, Street names, The Just City, Urban memorial spaces


Urban commemorative spaces have consistently shown vast gender disparities through the domination of men at the expense of women; this is evident in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This thesis employed an archival research method to locate useful primary materials from the City of Milwaukee (which included the Common Council Proceedings) and from other sources. In addition, I employed a geographical information system to visualize gender disparity and also express the spatial distribution of the identified commemorative streets. The study argues (among other ideas) that commemorative street naming is problematically gendered.

Of the 233 commemorative street names given between 1920 and 2021 in Milwaukee across three different naming periods, a grand total of 185 streets, constituting a staggering 79.40 percent, memorialized men; while 48 streets, which only made up 20.6 percent of the total streets, commemorated women. From the total 113.55 miles of the total streets’ length, 94.33 miles (83.07%) commemorated men, while an almost insignificant 19.22 miles (16.93%) memorialized women. This gender gap was evident across the various hierarchies of streets analyzed. This shows that Milwaukee is a pervasively patriarchal city. An equitable intervention is urgently needed for a just city. Therefore, I employed Fainstein’s Just City principles alongside others, to argue for gender fairness in the city.